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The Lord Speaks

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God Displays' His fatherly Love by speaking to Job from the Storm. In this Way he will display his awesome might and power before Job, revealign that Job has spoekn of things he doesn't comprhend, and as the Lord speaks Job will be gain a new appreciation for God's Wisdom, Knowledge of His own Lowly state, and an appreciation for the Loving Kindness of the Lord through the storm.

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Introduction:

Overview of the Book of Job:

-Chapters 1-2 the Bet that started the whole poem into motion
-Chapter 3: Jobs Poem of Distress and inner darkness (As he travelled further into himself a nd despair)
-Chapters 4-27 Job & His three friends debate the nature of Suffering and its relationship with Sin
Chapter 28: The great Hymn of Wisdom
Chapter 29-31: Jobs Final Plea to God (Asks God to Speak and reveal His Error that has Lead to His suffering)
Chapter 32-37: Elihu gives his interpretation of events and rebukes Job:
Chapter 38-41: Now We come to the climatic Conclusion: God takes the Stage

Different Interpretations of tone

God Speaks out of "Unparalleled Brutality ..Devilish Scorn”-Cornill
God Speaks “with courteous and Slightly wistful irony” -Terrien
God Speaks with “Playfulness … which is quite relaxing” -Anderson
God Speaks as a Teacher Catechizing His Pupil in things he should already Know. -Van reed

Over All Interpretations of Meaning

God means to Instruct Job on the reality of things he does not see
God will humble Job through the questions he puts forward
God will be reveled......

I. The Lord Speaks (1)

Job 38:1 ESV
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
We are going to pause here an linger for a moment of this key phrase: The LORD answered.....
The first Point I want us to Linger on in this text is that the Lord has come to Job. There are 3 things I want us to Quickly see in this one first:
First: The Lord's Revelation of Himself is Personal
-Here for the First time since the chapter 2 does the personal name of God appear. (up to this point in every speech El Shaddai or Elohim have been used to speak of God, but here an now the Personal name of God is used to speak.
-This is no small feature that is to be dismissed, for here we see the covenantal personal existence of God coming to Job. Not a distant deity but the personal God. YHWY
-God was under no obligation to reveal himself Elihu insinuated that God would not answer him.
Elihu:
Elihu:
Job 35:10–14 ESV
But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’ There they cry out, but he does not answer, because of the pride of evil men. Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it. How much less when you say that you do not see him, that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
Job 35:10
Job 37:23–24 ESV
The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
Job 37:22
While His other 3 Friends longed for God to Answer and Put Job in his place as a sinner and vindicate their case.
Eliphaz:
Job 5:8 ESV
“As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause,
Bildad:
Elihu:Bildad:
Job 8:5–6 ESV
If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation.
Zophar:
Job 11:3–6 ESV
Should your babble silence men, and when you mock, shall no one shame you? For you say, ‘My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God’s eyes.’ But oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you, and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
Job 11:5–6 ESV
But oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you, and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
Job 11:5-6
Job 11:
Second: the Lord’s Revelation of himself is an answer to Job’s Prayer and Petition
Job 31:35 ESV
Oh, that I had one to hear me! (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!) Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
Now this may not be the most humble of request Job makes before god but it is the final open that leas to his response. Job at wits end having dealt with the three friends cries out to God to vindicate him and prove him in the right. (this of course as we will see is both accurate and inaccurate on Job’s part and something we will see beard out in the final chapter but for now, we have seen Job’s continued desire for God to do two things: Speak to Him and Vindicate Him. Which leads to the last part of the first verse and that is the means of God’s Revelation
So God
Third: The Lord’s Answer to Job is majestic, Awe inspiring, and fearful, though not necessarily judgment… The word is used in Scripture as restorative. protective, judgmental, and majestic.
In Kings the revelation of God in the storm is one of power might and grandeur before Elijah and Elisha.
job
Job 9:17 ESV
For he crushes me with a tempest and multiplies my wounds without cause;
For David in it was the mighty revelation of God has his vindicator and judge
In Zechariah its is both Protection for those who are with God and judgement for those who oppose him.
What we must see so clearly in this first part is the reality that God has come to Job in the midst of His suffering, in the midst of His confusion and has spoken. We will quickly turn to the words he speaks and the counsel given, but it should not be too quickly dismissed as a given that the voice of God has come.
Of course in our Christ saturated post cross context we in our suffering experienced a far greater word from the whirlwind. We say the Christ, the son of the Living God who has spoke to us in these last days not through storms, but as a brother and a friend. He spoke to us and gave us a fuller revelation of himself.
He came as the advocate Job longed for and the Redeemer who lives. In Christ we experience YHWY in an even greater sense then Job, but for now let us not get to far ahead of ourselves into the beauty of Christ, for there is much more of that too come, now let us return to Job as God now opens his mouth and speaks....

II. The Lord Calls Job to Action (2-3)

Job 38:2–3 ESV
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.
God Begins His Speech by calling forth Job to the stand.
-Job has spent some time questioning God . He now begins by Calling Job to prepare Himself to answer Him.
-A key element that we see is that He asks:
Job 38:2 ESV
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
job 318:2
Several Interpretations of this phrase have been put forth:
-It is a recitation of the fact that job has spoken wickedly about God from his own imagination
-Job speaks speaks against God’s design for the world from pure ignorance.
-Job has found himself so lost in his inner depth’s of darkness that he cannot see clearly and speaks without observing and evaluating things truthfully.
All Three can be reflective of the reality of the text depends on your inference of tone and thoughts about Job.
Personally third options has become most persuasive to me as we linger into the discourse for in God’s call to action he addresses him not as lowly worm or as some creature beneath him, but rather as one who can stand an answer.
-God does actually call Him to stand and give a defense, he calls him to prepare himself as a man to answer. This is not a term of degradation, but one of preparation.
Now as we we div into the whole of God’s speech one of the common observations is that God never deals with Jobs questions raised during his conversations with his friends. As we will see this is true and yet God is answer Job in some very stark other ways. As one Hebrew scholar points out (Alter) God in this beautiful poem is actually going to begin by addressing Job’s initial complain, which wasn’t about justice, but about life.
The debate that raged about the justice of God, sin and suffering. Was not the original charge Job leveled towards God, but rather a complaint against the day he was born. Before the friends begin charging him with sins and the belief that Job deserved all the suffering that had come to him, Job was seeking death in his pain, in his sorrow, and in his suffering.
Job lost sight of the Light by continually seeking darkness (not evil or sin, but sorrow and depression) he was turning inward on himself not looking to tomorrow or the hope of God for him, but rather was consumed by pain and suffering and yearned to turn back time and nature to undo his own birth.
“He wishes that a man was never born.”
-Yet a man was born, lived served God and suffered. He spoke without knowledge of the day of his birth and in so doing questioned the wisdom of God but seeking to unravel the created order for his own destruction.
-God steps in and speaks in the midst of jobs own internal whirlwind and calls him to the stand to defend his case of how he would plan to undo the acts of God, and bring this darkness he is looking for.... God is waking Job up out of his stupor that began and in chapter 3 before the friends even uttered a word about sin and justice. (For as we say in Chapters 1-2 when YHWY was first one the scene that is not what is at play here)
And So With this view of Chapter 3 setting the backdrop God now begins to questions Job, to humble him by bringing him outside of himself. Lifting him out of darkness to see the Light.

III. The Lord Questions Job (4-41)

A. He Questions Job’s Existence in Creation(4-11)

Job 38:4–11 ESV
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
-The First area that God brings to Job’s attention is”where was Job when God was building the world?”
-God brings back the conception and birth imagery that Job used of his own life, but now he turns it on Job, you wish to bring these things to and end and plunge them into darkness, well then tell me where were you when I created the first day..... He is reminding Job that ll these things have a purpose and a plan. God does nothing capriciously . Her challenges Jobs own birth with the fact that the one who put you into the womb was the one who birthed forth the universe itself.
In Jobs Suffering he lost sight of the light seeking only the dark night of the soul.
Matthew 6:25–34 ESV
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Now just picture standing before the theophany of God and being given a Physical science lesson from the creature of thew universe. He is forcing Job to think beyond himself...... The preparing himself for action was not a sarcastic comment He wants Job to think, He wants Job to stop speaking from against the design of God’s universe and see the one who created it is sustaining in still, even in Job’s Life. That today's chaos is not beyond his own control.
So while Job longed for the joyous cries of his birth to be extinguished, God asks him about the Joyous songs of creation, or while Job was asking why God would hedge him Him God is asking the question where were you when I hedged in the waters of the see (the same Hebrew word for hedge is used in setting limits in god’s speech).
In Questions Job’s existence in creation he is beginning to bring Job back to the realization that God knows what he is doing, he was there when it all began, and he was there when Job was brought for from the womb., not into darkness but into light.
TR: But not only was God there, he was in control. So here again he turn and ask Job what role did he have in the works of nature.....

B. He Questions Job’s Ability to even fully Understand Creation (12-30)

Job 38:12–30 ESV
“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it? It is changed like clay under the seal, and its features stand out like a garment. From the wicked their light is withheld, and their uplifted arm is broken. “Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this. “Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home? You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great! “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, which I have reserved for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war? What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt, to bring rain on a land where no man is, on the desert in which there is no man, to satisfy the waste and desolate land, and to make the ground sprout with grass? “Has the rain a father, or who has begotten the drops of dew? From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the frost of heaven? The waters become hard like stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
Here we really begin to see God play with the notion of Light and darkness, and huge contrast to Job original poem of longing for the welling darkness to over take and extinguish the light. God points out the logic that Job has no power over such things, but more thna that jhe asks him does he even truly understand what he is saying:
-You long for the dark.....do you even understand the dark.
“You Would Know you were around then”-God’ here gets a little snarky with Job, but bringing the full realization to task, you are so so self consumed you must be the center of the universe, you must understand it all, you wanted to perished at birth because of this suffering now, but don’t forget that would mean you have the power to act in a grand scheme bearing all things to pass according to your will.
God is pressing Job to remember who is the father of all of creation, who brings for the world, every day, who brings rain and snow on face of it. Who makes trees fall where no one hears them for his own purposes.
-In God questions Job understanding of nature it remind shim that if you can’t fully comprehend all of nature, and how each action precipitates the will and plan of God, how do you think for a second you understand what goes on everyday.
-Here again we see a blessing of God in his questions for in many ways he is revealing more of himself and bringing knowledge to Job. Job’s ignorance is being filled in. (maybe not in the way he would have wished, but certainly in a way he will never forget.
And So God brings forth another series of question, now asking him what power he has to affect the creation around him today....
-God has instructed Job thro

C. He Questions Job’s Ability to Affect Creation (31-41)

Job 38:31–41 ESV
“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season, or can you guide the Bear with its children? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you establish their rule on the earth? “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods stick fast together? “Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens or lie in wait in their thicket? Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God for help, and wander about for lack of food?
Now God brings Jobs view forward into the reality of Job’s actual ability to change the world around him. From the great constellations to the feeding of the birds..... All of Job’s speech in his misery ultimately lost sight of God’s hand in all of creation and life.
chapter 38 concludes with God issuing the reality that Job Cannot change the world around him, from the stars to the animals around him, it is God who moves all things and cares for them
TR: From Here I want to linger and lay forward some application:

Applications:

1. The First thing I want us to take from this is the gift of God revealing himself to Job:
-God did not leave Job alone in the darkness but brought to him a revelation of himself. For us this should be truly encouraging as we see in the scriptures a God who is far from a hidden force, but a personal God who cares for his own.
-God has instructed Job thro
A God who reveals himself, now not in a whirlwind with Questions that teach us dependence, but with a Son who was the image of dependence through suffering:
Hebrews 5:7–10 ESV
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
So the Word of God has rebuked Job’s inadequacy and the word of Christ instructs us in our inadequacies.
First: I want to linger on is the fact that God turns to nature to prove his point about himself. In scripture God does this at times to remind us not to be anxious and to know who is in sovereign control, it is a reminder that we are not the measure of our own existence;
Matthew 6:25–34 ESV
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Second: I want us to take from this is the gift of God revealing himself to Job:
-God did not leave Job alone in the darkness but brought to him a revelation of himself. For us this should be truly encouraging as we see in the scriptures a God who is far from a hidden force, but a personal God who cares for his own.
A God who reveals himself, now not in a whirlwind with Questions that teach us dependence, but with a Son who was the image of dependence through suffering:
Hebrews 5:7–10 ESV
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
So the Word of God has rebuked Job’s inadequacy and the word of Christ instructs us in our inadequacies.
But even more than that as we see Job Suffer and God question him we are struck by the reality that Job did suffer in ignorance, while Christ suffered for us in full knowledge.
He knew what suffering would be like, he knew why he was coming, and he was there at creation to each of the questions positioned in the text He would answer I was there, I have done it, I continue to to do it, and yet for us and our salvation he suffered and died, experienced the greatest suffering of all time, far from Job.
Job suffered in ignorance and was instructed to trust God
God the Son Suffered in Knowledge and trusted the Father.
So through it all we must know that He is in charge, He is Good, He is at work, and there is nothing to be anxious for in suffering, for the darkness will pass in this life or the next to those who love him and are called, for it is to them he suffered.
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